Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, Ondo State governor, has signed the Anti-Grazing Bill passed by the State House of Assembly into law.
Akeredolu signed the bill into law on Tuesday at his office in Akure, the state capital.
This comes after the seventeen southern governors fixed September 1, 2021, as deadline for passing the anti-open grazing law in their states at a meeting in Lagos State last month.
There has been controversy over the decision.
The Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, an umbrella body of nomadic herdsmen in Nigeria, had described the decision of the governors as a declaration of war on herders.
The group also described the ban as an empty policy.
“The ban is an empty policy because it has no basis. You can’t ban our business, we are not criminals, let them go after the bandits and the criminals.
“We can’t comply with an empty policy. If they create ranches and ask us to go there, we will go there but they can’t wake up one day and say they are banning our business,” spokesman for the group, Saleh Alhassan, had said.
But while signing the bill into law, Akeredolu insisted that the move is in line with the decision of the southern governors.
“The move is in line with the resolution of the Southern Governors’ Forum at its last meeting in Lagos where September 1st was set as the deadline for Governors in Southern Nigeria to sign the Anti-Open Grazing Bill into law,” Donald Ojogo, Commissioner for Information and Orientation, quoted the governor to have said.
“This is worthwhile and a very laudable development aimed at stemming needless instances of skirmishes, conflicts as well as infractions on the enviably peaceful disposition of the good people of Ondo State.
“It is very pertinent to aver and indeed, reiterate that the Law shall rather, engender a more cordial, mutually benefiting relationship amongst residents of the State irrespective of ethnicity, religion or creed. For emphasis, no particular group of persons is the target.
“While it is the hope of Government that all residents would take an ample advantage of this Law to enhance our socio-economic well being in Ondo State, compliance of same shall be given the utmost attention. Government shall pursue with vigour, through lawful means, to ensure strict compliance.
“In this regard, details of the new Law shall be made available to the public for proper information, more depth of understanding on contents as well as other relevant areas.”